Mont-Saint-Michel and the
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Perched on a rocky islet in the midst of vast sandbanks exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany stand the 'Wonder of the West', a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael, and the village that grew up in the shadow of its great walls. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the abbey is a technical and artistic tour de force, having had to adapt to the problems posed by this unique natural site.
|Mont-Saint-Michel is a rocky, cone-shaped islet in north-western
France, in the Gulf of Saint-Malo, and connected by a causeway with
the mainland. The islet, celebrated for its Benedictine abbey, has
small houses and shops on its lowest level. Above these stand
the monastic buildings, many of which date from the 13th century and
are considered outstanding examples of Gothic architecture. The
entire islet is crowned by the abbey church, about 73 m (240 ft) above
According to legend, a small chapel was founded here in 708 by St. Aubert of Avranches. The abbey itself was founded in 966 by Benedictine monks. The abbey resisted the assaults of the English during the Hundred Years' War, and was used as a political prison during the French Revolution.
The millennium of the island was celebrated in 1966, and it is now a French historical monument. The island is populated by 72 individuals.
Sources and links:
Microsoft Encarta 2002.
Other World Heritage Sites in France (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section France for further information on the individual properties.
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Revised 09 sep 2007